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Quick message this week. I just landed in Morocco, and am now in the Sahara on my way to meet with students on our program here.
It’s always so rewarding to work with these enthusiastic young American journalists and their Moroccan partners. More from me next week!
With warm regards,
As a young reporter, I was attracted to work in Minneapolis-St Paul by the intense competition between two award-winning daily newspapers and renowned TV newsrooms. That competition produced great journalism and an unusually well-informed citizenry. (That’s a very young Mary Stucky on deadline, checking the clock at the 1984 Democratic National Convention.)
Throughout the country, great American news outlets thrived for decades in productive competition until the Internet disrupted the advertising and subscription model that had long supported journalism. Since then, more and more news organizations have embraced collaboration.
Here’s how it happened for the Cambodia Daily.
On Sunday, September 3rd, the leader of the opposition party was arrested in the middle of the night, charged with treason, and taken to a remote prison. The following edition of the paper carried the headline “Descent into outright dictatorship,” above the fold. At the bottom was an article titled “Cambodia Daily faces immediate closure amidst threats.” That was the last issue.
(Click on the photo above for “The Devastating Shutdown of the Cambodia Daily”
Hurricane Harvey inundated Houston
Hurricane Irma slammed into Florida and the Southeastern US
Hurricane Maria pummeled the Caribbean still reeling from Irma
Two earthquakes devastated Mexico
Hurricane Jose still threatens parts of the US
The news is heartbreaking. Before the advent of the internet and the 24/7 news cycle we didn’t have as much instantaneous news about disasters like these. While we might prefer not know, I don’t think that’s an option.
Lately, I’m hearing — even from my news junkie friends — that they’re done with journalism. Tired of reading bad news. Tired of the shouting. Tired of news stories that are thin and unsatisfying. Just tired.
I share these feelings. And yet, I spend almost every day working to produce journalism. Working with dedicated, ethical, sincere early-career and veteran journalists.
I still have hope for my profession.
The words of John Foley, Executive Director of the California Academy of Sciences,
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
As the 4th of July approaches, I plan to reflect on the importance and wisdom of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. And the way in which independent journalism champions this fundamental right.
Hello everyone,I’m just back from “Elevate Engagement,” a conference sponsored by the non-profit Journalism That Matters and the Agora Journalism Center at the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication. What’s one take-home from this conference? A new understanding about the pervasive lack of trust in journalists.
There are many reasons for this. We journalists have missed essential stories and failed to cover our communities — domestic and global — fairly and adequately. We’ve failed to investigate. To challenge. And importantly, to shine a light on the good in the world,
Some perspective from this new study* in theColumbia Journalism Review (click on the photo above for the entire report). This is especially important with President Trump’s immigration plan making headline news.
“The right-wing media was able to bring the focus on immigration, Clinton emails, and scandals more generally to the broader media environment. A sentence-level analysis of stories throughout the media environment suggests that Donald Trump’s substantive agenda—heavily focused on immigration and direct attacks on Hillary Clinton—came to dominate public discussions.